Developing Affordable Housing: A Practical Guide for Nonprofit Organizations

Developing Affordable Housing: A Practical Guide for Nonprofit Organizations

Developing Affordable Housing: A Practical Guide for Nonprofit Organizations

Developing Affordable Housing: A Practical Guide for Nonprofit Organizations


Praise for Developing Affordable Housing A Practical Guide for Nonprofit Organizations Third Edition

"Ben Hecht's book explains in clear language everything needed to successfully engage in nonprofit housing development. He tells how to find the money, how to generate good design and quality construction, and how to improve management--a complete, well-researched, and well-presented 'A to Z' approach."
--Henry G. Cisneros, former secretary U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

"Ben Hecht's book makes the affordable housing development process accessible for communities and practitioners everywhere. Developing Affordable Housing should be on the bookshelf of every organization that cares about people and wants to make affordable housing possible."
--Rey Ramsey, former chairman, Habitat for Humanity CEO, One Economy Corporation

"The development of affordable housing is as much a journey as a destination. Ben Hecht's book provides maps and bridges while not losing sight of the challenging but elusive goal of providing decent, safe, and affordable housing."
--Nicolas P. Retsinas, Director, Joint Center for Housing Studies Harvard University

"In our work to increase the supply of safe, decent homes for those who need homes the most, we appreciate the power of partnerships and the value of information. So does Ben Hecht. Developing Affordable Housing is more than a practical guide for nonprofits--it's a library, a trusted advisor, and a road map. Read this book and benefit from its wisdom."
--Stacey D. Stewart, President and CEO, Fannie Mae Foundation


Housing matters—especially decent, stable, affordable housing. While education, health care, and workforce development often receive more attention, there is mounting evidence that housing is a critical factor in opening opportunities to individuals and improving communities. Recent studies confirm what we know intuitively—that decent, stable housing improves the ability of individuals to get and keep jobs, increases psychological well-being, and leads to better social behavior and school achievement among children. Other studies link the availability of affordable housing to the economic vitality of cities and regions.

An adequate supply of such housing depends on a broad commitment to our communities and their residents. Nonprofit housing developers work closely with architects, bankers, construction contractors, property managers, public officials and others. Together, they are making a critical difference. For nearly three decades, nonprofit housing developers have demonstrated how essential they are to the revitalization of communities. They increasingly understand the relationship between the bricks and mortar they provide and the critical social and economic supports that residents of their properties need to flourish.

In the early years of the twenty-first century, challenges abound. Federal funding is likely to diminish. the regulatory environment that has helped bring conventional capital to communities needing a revitalized stock of affordable housing is weakening. It is difficult for nonprofit developers to purchase, recapitalize, and improve the thousands of affordable housing units that were built in the 1970s and 1980s and whose federal subsidies are coming to an end. However, these are all challenges that a greatly strengthened field of nonprofit housing developers and their many allies are prepared to meet.

For over twenty-five years, the MacArthur Foundation has invested in housing. Today, our interest is deeper than ever. Since 2000 alone, more than $100 million in grants and loans have been committed to the development and preservation of affordable housing. These resources have helped nonprofit developers, and the specialized financing intermediaries that support them, ensure that decent, affordable housing is available in both urban and rural communities.

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